Ford’s new 7.3L Godzilla V8 is proving to be quite the popular powerplant. Super Duty owners are loving the robust torque curve, Ford itself is offering the engine as a plug and play crate motor, while the aftermarket world is definitely impressed with the 7.3’s ability to handle modifications and make big power.
So it’s no surprise we’re going to see this engine enter the heavy-duty world of hard work. Starting this coming spring, the Blue Bird bus company says it will begin integrating Ford’s new 7.3L V8 into the production of its Vision and Micro school buses.
The Ford 7.3L V8 equipped Blue Bird Vision buses will be available with a purpose-built fuel system developed by ROUSH CleanTech. When installed in the new Blue Bird busses, the new Ford 7.3 will be capable of burning either propane or gasoline. According to ROUSH, the new option can offer savings of $3,700 per bus annually thanks to improved fuel economy compared to Ford’s old 6.8L V10.
In school bus guise, the Ford 7.3L V8 will make 350 horsepower and 468 lb.-ft of torque, good for best in class figures, which is a far cry from the 1,000+ horsepower we’ve seen the new Ford OHV produce already. Because the new engine is narrower than the 6.8 there’s better access for mechanics, this also includes new rigging of the fuel lines and wiring.
The ROUSH CleanTech Gen 5 propane autogas fuel system integrates Ford’s new 7.3L V8 engine in Class 3-7 chassis. It’s also certified to California Air Resources Board’s optional low nitrogen oxide emissions standard of 0.05 grams per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr).
“The exclusive partnership between Blue Bird, ROUSH CleanTech, and Ford continues to flourish as we launch Ford’s new engine with cutting-edge fuel systems in our Vision and Micro Bird school buses,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corporation.